Happy Monday! It’s that time again–
You probably know the drill, but if you’re new ’round these parts, you might wonder what Reader’s Choice is. Below are some of the new releases from this week that I thought would most interest readers of this site. It’s a pretty light week. Leave a comment as to which one of these you’d most like to read and one person will win it (or another book of their choice). International, as always. You also can pick any of my books if you wish except those that haven’t yet been released.
Now, here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing this week. Your mileage may vary.
Bite, by K.S. Merbeth, July 26, Orbit. Kid is trying to survive in a world gone mad. Hungry, thirsty and alone in a desert wasteland, she’s picked up on the side of the road by Wolf, Dolly, Tank and Pretty Boy – outlaws with big reputations and even bigger guns. But as they journey across the wild together, Kid learns that her newfound crew may not be the heroes she was hoping for. And in a world that’s lost its humanity, everyone has a bit of monster within them…
City of Wolves, by Willow Palecek, July 26, tor.com. Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the Nobility, and doesn’t prefer to take jobs from strange men who accost him in alleyways. A combination of hired muscle and ready silver have a way of changing a man’s mind. A lord has been killed, his body found covered in bite marks. Even worse, the late lord’s will is missing, and not everyone wants Drake to find it. Solving the case might plunge Drake into deeper danger.
Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch, July 26, Crown. “Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable–something impossible. Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
Directive 17: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller (Next #4), by Scott Nicholson, July 31, Haunted. In a contaminated wasteland, Rachel Wheeler and an intelligent mutant baby find shelter in a silver city where neither belongs. As the dwindling human race desperately fights to survive, they’re forced to adapt to the mutant technology and the new race that threatens them with extinction. But the hostile environment poses other threats as well—strange creatures and giant predators roam the wilderness, fueled by the mysterious radiation leaking from the advanced cities. Rachel’s friends come to the rescue, but they discover she’s crossed a border from which no human ever returns. But something else might…
Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence #5), by Max Gladstone, July 26, Tor. The great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back—and the people of Alt Coulumb aren’t happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning’s creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god’s church. Tara Abernathy, the god’s in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world’s fiercest necromantic firm—and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world. As if that weren’t enough, Cat and Raz, supporting characters from Three Parts Dead, are back too, fighting monster pirates; skeleton kings drink frozen cocktails, defying several principles of anatomy; jails, hospitals, and temples are broken into and out of; choirs of flame sing over Alt Coulumb; demons pose significant problems; a farmers’ market proves more important to world affairs than seems likely; doctors of theology strike back; Monk-Technician Abelard performs several miracles; The Rats! play Walsh’s Place; and dragons give almost-helpful counsel.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Pts. 1-2, by JK Rowling and Jack Thorne, July 31. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016. It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.
Hell or High Water (Gemini #3), by Hailey Edwards, July 30. Camille Ellis has gone rogue agent, and there’s no turning back now. The conclave might have put the Charybdis case to bed, but Cam isn’t willing to let it lie. No badge doesn’t mean no backup these days. As mate to an alpha warg, she has access to new and lethal resources. A whole pack full of them. And they all want justice for the sins committed against them. But the stakes are higher than she knows, the secrets exposed darker than she feared, and the cost of winning higher than she ever imagined.
Illusion Town (Ghost Hunters #13), by Jayne Castle, July 26, Jove. A new adventure begins on Harmony… With its opulent casinos and hotels, the desert city of Illusion Town is totally unique—and will take you on a thrill ride you’ll never forget. Hannah West isn’t the first woman to wake up in Illusion Town married to a man she barely knows, but she has no memory of the ceremony at all. For that matter, neither does Elias Coppersmith, her new husband. All either can remember is that they were on the run…With Hannah’s dubious background and shaky para-psych profile, she could have done much worse. The cooly competent mining heir arouses her curiosity—as well as other parts of her mind and body. And even her dust bunny likes him….But a honeymoon spent retracing their footsteps leads Hannah and Elias into the twisting underground catacombs, where secrets from both their pasts will come to light—and where the energy of their clashing auras will grow hot enough to burn…
Indomitable (The Chronicles of Promise Paen #2), by W.C. Bauers, July 26, TOR. Promise Paen, commander of Victor Company’s mechanized armored infantry, is back for another adventure protecting the Republic of Aligned Worlds. Lieutenant Paen barely survived her last encounter with the Lusitanian Empire. She’s returned home to heal. But the nightmares won’t stop. And she’s got a newly reconstituted unit of green marines to whip into shape before they deploy. If the enemies of the RAW don’t kill them first, she just might do the job herself. Light-years away, on the edge of the Verge, a massive vein of rare ore is discovered on the mining planet of Sheol, which ignites an arms race and a proxy war between the Republic and the Lusitanians. Paen and Victor Company are ordered to Sheol, to reinforce the planet and hold it at all costs. On the eve of their deployment, a friendly fire incident occurs, putting Paen’s career in jeopardy and stripping her of her command. When the Lusitanians send mercenaries to raid Sheol and destabilize its mining operations, matters reach crisis levels. Disgraced and angry, Promise is offered one shot to get back into her mechsuit. But she’ll have to jump across the galaxy and possibly storm the gates of hell itself.
Leona’s Descent (Zodiac Assassins #1.5), by Artemis Crow. July 27. What Would You Sacrifice To Rewrite A Moment In Time? Their Rise, Her Fall After the release of a demon army into the human world, magical power is the only currency that counts, hope is the only thing worth fighting for. Newly created Zodiac Leona is hungry to learn the dark arts from the Master, a sorcerer so dangerous that he’s locked in a cage beneath Hell. The chasm created in the subterranean InBetween for the rise of a demon army, becomes the express route for her fall. Out of Hope The direct passage to Hell blocked after Leona crash-lands into Hades, the Zodiac warrior must rely on three forsaken goddesses to survive the shifting realms, evade a god gone mad, and outrun the damage her corrupted soul is doing to their world. As she journeys to the closest portal to Hell, nothing is as it seems, agendas are thick with secrets, and betrayal has become the norm. What price a soul Only two souls can release the Master. Hope is close, but Leona must choose: ask the Key and the Lock to sacrifice their souls to open the Master’s cage, making her no better than the mad god she has vowed to destroy, or risk the torture of being trapped in the world of the damned, her own soul forever lost.
Red Right Hand, by Levi Black, July 26, TOR. Charlie Tristan Moore isn’t a hero. She’s a survivor. On a night when her demons from the past are triggered, she arrives home to something even more harrowing-an attack by three monstrous skinhounds, creatures straight out of nightmares. She fights but is outmatched. Just as hope seems lost, in sweeps The Man In Black, a rescuer even more monstrous and unlikely, dressed in a long, dark coat that seems to have a life of its own and with a black-bladed sword held in his terrible, red right hand. Her rescue comes at a cost. She must become his new Acolyte and embrace a dark magick she never knew she had inside her. To ensure she gives it her all, he takes her friend and possible love, Daniel, in thrall as a hostage to her obedience. The Man in Black, a Lovecraftian chaos god, claims to be battling his brethren gods, other horrors who are staging an incipient apocalypse. But is he truly the lesser of all evils or merely killing off the competition? Either way, will Charlie be strong enough to save herself, Daniel, and possibly the entire world?
Stefan (Lost Nights #1), by Jocelynn Drake, July 29. Kidnapping. Betrayal. Murder. That’s an average night for most vampires. But it’s a harsh wake-up call for artist Erin Prescott during her recent trip to Venice, Italy. The world has changed since humanity discovered the existence of vampires, and not for the better. It was just supposed to be one night. What could be the harm in helping out Stefan — the vampire with a smile that could stop her heart? That one night twisted into something far more sinister and deadly….Framed for murder and trapped in the center of a plot to take down one of the most powerful vampires in all the world, Erin finds herself fighting not only for her own right to exist, but also to save Stefan. To save him… she has to be willing to lose him. Stefan: A Lost Night Novel follows the events of the Dark Days series.
Supernova (Lightless #2), by C.A. Higgins, July 26, Del Rey. Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it—her—into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god—and all the unstable emotions of a teenager. Althea, the ship’s engineer and the last living human aboard, nearly gave her life to save Ananke from dangerous saboteurs, forging a bond as powerful as that between mother and daughter. Now she devotes herself completely to Ananke’s care. But teaching a thinking, feeling machine—perhaps the most dangerous force in the galaxy—to be human proves a monumental challenge. When Ananke decides to seek out Matthew Gale, the terrorist she regards as her father, Althea learns that some bonds are stronger than mortal minds can understand—or control. Drawn back toward Earth by the quest, Althea and Ananke will find themselves in the thick of a violent revolution led by Matthew’s sister, the charismatic leader Constance, who will stop at nothing to bring down a tyrannical surveillance state. As the currents of past decisions and present desires come into stark collision, a new and fiery future is about to be born.
The Consort (Fae Hunters #1), by Suzanne Johnson, July 29. Summoned to the Royal Palace of Faerie, Liandra arrives full of hope—only to learn that Florian, the Summer Prince, has purchased her as his annual consort. The price charged by her father? A horse. Fleeing through the veil into the human world, Liandra knows she must not only escape the prince but also the fabled Fae Hunters, ruthless faery warriors whose job it was to track escaped members of the fae and return them to Faerie dead or alive. …Falconer, eldest son of Autumn, gave up his seat on the throne of the Autumn Court to become Captain of the Fae Hunters. Setting up his base in New Orleans, Faulkner—as he now calls himself—runs The Hunt Club, a fantasy nightclub that makes the most of the fae’s illusion magic and serves as a hangout for off-duty Hunters. All is going well–until Prince Florian stalks in, demanding the return of his lost consort. …Faulk takes the case, but soon finds his duty at odds with his heart when he’s ordered to capture Liandra, the grown-up version of a shy, awkward girl he remembers from his youth. Can Faulk turn Lia over to a certain death at the hands of the prince, or will he risk a war with Faerie in order to save her? Originally published in slightly different form in the DARK SECRETS anthology, now out of print. Digital only.
The Magician’s Ruins (Echo #2), by Alexa Padgett, July 31. She’s the hope of the world … or its destruction. The portals to the underworld are unguarded, and demons roam free in the Southwest. To return the world to balance Echo Maria Ruiz must survive enough trials to meet with the Magician in his ruined city and learn the secrets he holds. Secrets like the location of her best friend. Alone and unprepared, Echo must trust Honani, her spirit guardian, and Zeke, the handsome, mysterious warrior who carries her on the back of his motorcycle, battling demons and monsters at her side. In her darkest moments in the Magician’s ruins, Echo discovers betrayal lurks, and her warrior may not be her hero after all.
Thunder Road (Rain Chaser #1), by Sierra Dean, July 26. Being Chosen was supposed to be a gift….That’s what Tallulah Corentine’s parents told her when they handed her over to the Rain Chasers on her seventh birthday. It was an honor to be born with a destiny, to be hand selected by the gods before taking her first breath. She should be overjoyed….Twenty years later, Tallulah is still waiting for the gift. She might have the power of the storm at her fingertips, but she’s spent her whole adult life living under a cloud….A cross-country trip to find the wayward son of Seth, god of the storm, turns into a fight for her life when she dupes Death out of a valuable treasure. With only a wily con man, a dangerously handsome bad-luck priest, and a lot of lightning to help her, can she deliver the package and keep herself out of an early grave?…Or will Seth be looking for a new Rain Chaser before it’s all over?
Urban Allies: Ten Brand New Collaborative Stories, by Joseph Nassise, July 26, Harper Voyager. Urban Allies brings together characters from two different urban fantasy series—Peter Octavian and Dahlia Lynley-Chivers, Joanne Walker and Harper Blaine, Joe Ledger and Agent Franks, Sabina Kane and Ava—in ten electrifying stories. Combining fictional worlds in one dual adventure, each of these stories melds the talents of two high-profile authors, many working together for the first time—giving readers a chance to see their favorite characters in an imaginative and fresh way. Edited by acclaimed bestselling author Joseph Nassise—who is also a contributor—this outstanding collection showcases the brilliant storytelling talents of some of the most acclaimed fantasy writers working today, among them seven New York Times bestselling authors, two USA Today bestselling authors, and multiple Bram Stoker Award winners. Contributors include:
Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden • Carrie Vaughn and Diana Rowland • Jonathan Maberry and Larry Correia • Kelley Armstrong and Seanan McGuire • Joe Nassise and Sam Witt • Steven Savile and Craig Schaefer • David Wellington and Weston Ochse • Stephen Blackmoore and Jeff Somers • Catie Murphy and Kat Richardson • Jaye Wells and Caitlin Kittredge.
Warcaster (Mage Song #1), by J.C. Staudt, July 30. What becomes of a hero after he saves the world? In his younger days, Sir Darion Ulther rose to become the greatest Warcaster the realms have ever known. Once skilled in combat both martial and magical, he now spends his days hunting, hawking, drinking, and dining; he has wed the beautiful Lady Alynor Mirrowell and left his days of adventure and glory behind. Or so he believes….When a messenger arrives with dire news – a horde of savage northmen marches on the eastern kingdoms, razing all in its wake – Sir Darion must shed his new-found life of ease and wade into the fray once more. This adventure, however, may prove an unfamiliar challenge for the washed-up hero, who finds himself accompanied by an unlikely traveling companion – the young wife he barely knows. Through the perils that mark their way, she’ll discover more about him than she bargained for – perhaps more than she ever wanted to.
Wasteland King (Gallow and Ragged), by Lilith Saintcrow, July 26, Orbit. The thrilling conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Lilith Saintcrow’s dark fantasy series where the faery world inhabits diners, dive bars and trailer parks. The plague has broken loose, the Wild Hunt is riding, and the balance of power in the sidhe realms is still shifting. The Unseelie King has a grudge against Jeremiah Gallow, but it will have to wait. For he needs Gallow’s services for a very delicate mission — and the prize for success is survival itself. In order to save both Robin Ragged and himself, Gallow will have to do the unspeakable…
Where the Wild Things Bite (Half-Moon Hollow #8), by Molly Harper, July 26, Pocket. Delivering a rare book to a valued customer is definitely part of mild-mannered archivist Anna Winthrop’s job description. You know what isn’t? Protecting her precious cargo from mid-flight theft by the very pilot who is flying her to Half-Moon Hollow…while trying to appear as unappetizing as possible to the only other passenger, a vampire. Undead bookstore owner Jane Jameson could be waiting a very long time for her book. Possibly forever. Fortunately, Anna’s dashing fanged companion Finn Palmeroy helps her fend off the attack, but not before their plane crash lands in the forest hundreds of miles from civilization. Great, now she’s stranded with a priceless tome and a rakish vampire whose bedtime is fast approaching. Why does everyone want this book so badly, anyway? Anna just wants to get it to Jane before Finn decides to turn her into dinner-or sweep her off her feet. Okay, the second option is really tempting. But they’re not out of the woods yet.
So…what do you want to read? Which of these appeals to you most? Remember, regardless of what you say in your comment you also can pick a different book or any one of my books (except Christmas in Dogtown, which is currently out of print), without regard to the $15 limit. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, I will sign print books.